The Professional Sports Person

Sport can play an enormous role in an athlete’s life and can sometimes get too much for them. For Professional athletes, sport is a full time job. These athletes get a lot of both positive and negative publicity which they have to deal with in an appropriate and orderly manner. More often or not sports officials are independent contractors and deal independently with the media when it comes to personal features or general questions about the profession.

There are many different situations where professional athletes and their behaviour can be influenced. Sports professionals are affected by media, drugs, racism, fans, management, fashion and many more. Media attention can be very intimidating for old and new athletes and the press can make athletes feel under great pressure because of the stories un covered and made up which might change a fans out look on an athlete.. Media is formed in many different ways such as radio, magazines, television, tabloids and many others. Athletes get viewed for their performance on the pitch, behaviour off the pitch, for what they drink, what they wear and how they speak.

When dealing with the media, athletes have to be careful what they say and how they act as many of the younger generation look up to professional sports people as role models and copy many of their images. For example every time David Beckham went out and changed his hair style, you would see hundreds of children with the same hair cut the next day. As David Beckham has advertised many things such as sports wear and drinks, many of these brands have had an enormous increase in sales as many young boys and girls want to wear the same trainers as him. Media pick up on anything and will make a story on especially if they think it might attract attention from the public.

When the athletes get attention from fans and media, it may not always be positive attention. Most athletes have a great passion for their sport and are very dedicated to training and being the best. They have to train hard on order to succeed in their sport. The press pick up on everyday life things such as who they socialize with, where they go, how they act and what they do. David Beckham is one of the biggest and one of the most well known football players in the world and also the biggest advertising icon.

His fame could carry almost any club as he is an amazing football player with great skill appealing to many boys but is also has a sexy image and is a big fashion icon. He has modelled for various things such as Vodafone, Pepsi, clothes and many other adverts. He has also promoted police glasses, signed a software contract for computers, computer games etc. David has been copied, ridiculed and idolised by many. The media have a huge obsession with him and with no doubt, any story on him would make a good story or a definite well read, popular article.

The media look for an athlete’s strengths and weaknesses, things that make them unique such as their individual elements and cultural influences. The media have turned many sports men and women into celebrities. They attract attention for sponsors and advertisers. Some athletes may feel that they need to go a little bit further or try harder to be better than other athletes who may have a lot of sponsorship offers etc and feel they need to boost their performance level in order to become one of these role models yet go the wrong way about it. Some feel forced to take drugs in order to enhance their performance.

This does not set a good example to children on any other fans especially when it is found out by the press etc. It sets out the totally wrong sort of behaviour and may even lead to disqualification for a long period of time for that athlete or even a bad time for the team also and will not help that team with publicity and the funding side of things. Professional athletes should set out a positive image to their fans and should show the right sort of attitude to have. Athlete’s attitudes change due to all the fame and then turn to drugs for stupid reasons to get more noticed and to maintain their high status.

They unfortunately then become a massive let down to many people and a big disgrace. When athletes start playing for the money and fame, they forget about the pure enjoyment of the sport of which was why they started in the first place. The media can show an athlete to turn from a hero to a zero. Athletes forget about the rules of the sport and start using and abusing performance enhancing substances. Their performance on and off the pitch is watched by all and have hardly any privacy. They take drugs for social reasons and then performance enhancers for training improvements and to gain a better and higher level of skill and performance during competition.

There are many different drugs that are banned including stimulants which help speed up an athlete’s reaction time, narcotic analgesics which kill pain, anabolic agents which increase muscle size, Polypeptide hormones which are similar to anabolic steroids and EPO and diuretics which help athlete’s weight loss. Also beta blockers which lowers heart rate, corticosteroids help reduce pain, alcohol and marijuana both calm nerves, these are also restricted substances for sports performers along with blood doping. Drug tests can be taken at any time and by refusing to give urine sample is just as serious as failing a drug test as it shows you have something to hide.

Many athletes have been found and accused of taking illegal substances. Some of these athletes are Athletic Ben Johnson found guilty of taking steroids, Edgar Davids a footballer who took nandrolone was also found positive. Another incident of drug testing was when footballer Rio Ferdinand ‘accidentally’ missed his test and later on, the media got hold of information containing his latest phone calls made on his mobile which were to a private doctor around the time of his test which he did not turn up for.

I think it would be a lot easier to stand up to what they may have done as the truth would be found in the end and that they look just as guilty for avoiding the tests. Drug taking has many side effects. They can make a person have various mood swings, become addicted to drugs, get liver, heart and kidney problems, higher, lower blood pressure, infertility, cancer, depression and many more. Some athletes take drugs when socializing in clubs, in the home just for the enjoyment side of it and then some take them to enhance performance on the field in order to reach a goal.

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